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West Stow Hall

There was probably a moated house already on the site, the first documentary reference to it being from the middle 13th Century. The colonnade linking the gatehouse and main house was built in 1580. The gatehouse has turrets surmounted by terracotta figures and contains a very rare 16th century wall painting of the Four Ages of Man. The coat of arms of Queen Mary of France, Henry VIII’s younger sister, and later Duchess of Suffolk, is displayed above the entrance. The Hall consists of large timber frames joined by iron ties. The front downstairs rooms are very heavily timbered with some side uprights rising through the house to the roof. The lounge has one of the largest inglenooks in Suffolk. The rear frame includes a great reception hall with heavily carved beams and interesting detail. It is said to date from the early 16th century. Beyond it were the parlour and solar end of an earlier hall which were demolished before the 19th Century. The house was partially faced in brick in the 1840s by the Rev. Benyon, the wealthiest clergyman in England. His builder complained that the house was full of voids, which are indeed still there.
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